I walked up and down the grid. Up and down. I watched units pass by, one, tick, two, tick, three, tick. Zero, tick, minus one, tick, minus two, tick. If I could just veer to the left, somewhere that had an x, but I moved only y, y y.
The funny thing is, for a flatland, a lineland, this one was bristling with painful thorns, thistles and nettles that grew into the x, while I walked the y line and cut my feet. I leaned over now and again to touch that blood, dripping off, down, into the white of the paper. I can only guess that that red soaked into the world around me, stained x, maybe z. But here on y I staunched it as best I could, I kept ticking off the forward and back, ah the forward and back. It's all we've got, is that not right?
That y was straight for me, doesn't mean that I ran through the world in one straight line. No, no. I wandered in a path that bent back on itself, so that I glimpsed myself, sitting there, licking blood off my fingers, walking, walking, walking.
Then, yes, I saw the x. How, how did that mean something? Suddenly I was no longer sleeping, because now I could move in two directions. I might escape myself, my bloody lips.
But there, there in x was a thousand ys, a thousand mes, and they were all licking blood off their hands. This one was sucking his thumb from a bee sting, and this a scabbed knee from climbing on rocks; this one cut his flailing thighs on deep ocean shells. Thistles and nettles be damned! But again I bled, and I wondered if this grid were everywhere. Yes, of course I then found z, and we all know that story. So many bees, so many wasps, and blood from cuttle fish and blood from coral.
And so I drew my own grid, my crazy grid. The nettles felt good, I didn't bleed when I touched them. Those nettles welcomed me, they embraced my poor, tired legs, wherever I wandered. But I didn't wander long, and I slept with the nettles wreathed around my legs, my thighs, my torso, my neck. They grew slowly, touching me with their suddenly subtle tendrils, happy to share their joy with the things they touched. They embraced the bees, and they embraced the wasps, and the spiders. I forgot a z and there was no x, and no y.